The Cadillac Columbus Cup match racing regatta will return to Baltimore from Oct. 6-12 with a few new wrinkles this year.
Previous Columbus Cups, a series of one-on-one sailboat races, have been held off the mouth of the Patapsco River, but this year race organizers have decided to bring the courses inside the Key Bridge. The courses themselves also will be changed to feature shorter legs, more laps, more frequent sail changes and an increased emphasis on tactics and crew work.
At least one finish line will be set in the Inner Harbor.
Moving the courses inside the Key Bridge is expected to provide more spectator viewing from shore and reduce the boat ride to 20 minutes for those who want to go out on the water and watch.
Eight teams compete in the Columbus Cup, with points earned applying to World Match Racing Conference rankings.
This year, teams from the United States, Japan, Spain, England, France and New Zealand have been invited to compete. Baltimore again will field a team.
The regatta again will be sailed in J/44s, the largest yacht used in match racing outside the America's Cup.
It almost is time for heavy-duty bluefish fishing, and Capt. Richard Novotny of the Maryland Saltwatwer Sportfishermen's Association recommends the following rig for trolling for springtime blues from 12 to 20 pounds.
* Lures: Crippled Alewive (11/0 or 9/0) or Tony (No. 19 or No. 21) spoons. The idea is to match the size of the spoon to the size of the baitfish the blues are feeding on.
* Leader: 60 pound test, for brute strength and ease of handling.
* Swivels: Black ball bearing style rather than chrome or brass because the flash of bright swivels can draw strikes for blues. lTC The use of ball bearing swivels will eliminate severe twisting of the leader.
* Sinker: In-line sinker ranging from 1 ounce to 8 ounces, depending on the preferred depth.
* Tying the rig: Pull off from 24 to 36 feet of the 60-pound leader and cut it in half. On one end of a piece of leader, tie a snap swivel. On the other end of the same length of leader, tie on a barrel swivel. The other section of leader should be tied to the barrel swivel at one end and directly to the spoon at the other. The snap swivel then can be connected to the in-line sinker and the in-line sinker connected to another snap swivel on the line from the rod.
* Fishing the rig: The big fish should be within 20 feet of the surface, feeding in the warm waters, so weights on each rod should be staggered to cover different depths. Novotny recommends running eight ounces 90 feet behind the boat, 4 ounces 140 feet back, an unweighted spoon 200 feet back, 2 ounces at 160 feet and 6 ounces at 120 feet. Select a boat speed that will give maximum action to the spoons and then adjust for changes in tide and wind. Maximum spoon action can be determined by trailing a lure alongside the boat and speeding slowing until the spoon moves best.